Monday, June 22, 2009

Farewell, Kodachrome

A moment of silence, please, for Kodachrome film.

Kodak today retired the slide film, and Dwayne's announced it will process the film through December 2010.

I was one of those who loved "those nice bright colors" and the "greens of summer" that gave Kodachrome its unique color palate, and its archival quality.

It's a sad day for photographers around the world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Telex Iran, revolutions, photography, and technology

With the tide of the street protests in Iran possibly turning against the entire Islamic theocratic system that overthrew the Shah's dictatorship 30 years ago, I thought the time was right to look back at Telex: Iran by Gilles Peres. Published in 1997, the book is a visual, personal retelling of the revolution that brought the Ayatollah's to power.

Mixed in with Telex communications with his editors, the book has immediacy that we did not really have before the age of the Internet.

What strikes me comparing Telex:Iran to the current situation is that again, those leading and participating in the protests are using cutting-edge technology, and the result is graphic and immediate. The almost-instant dissemination of photos and videos (despite government clampdowns on newsgathering at the events) is nothing less than stunning. While old-fashioned ways are also being used, we're seeing YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and other forums being used to organize rallies--and to rally world opinion.

It also strikes me that the brevity and immediacy of Peres's messages to the west are so similar in their urgency to the Tweets I've been seeing on Twitter's #iranelections feed, while the grittiness and off-kilter nature of the photos are in some ways similar to cell-phone stills and videos that are being shot and uploaded by Iranian protesters.

I just wonder...did the guys who founded YouTube and Flickr ever think they'd be caught up in a revolution?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hell has frozen over...maybe

We street shooters have been waiting a loooong time for a small interchangeable-lens camera built around a DSLR-quality sensor that wouldn't cost $5,000 (such as, say, the Leica M8). Well, today, Olympus announced the E-P1, AKA the Digital Pen, which offers full DSLR features (including HD video and CD-quality audio) and access to Olympus's Four Thirds lenses and flash system.

The first Micro Four Thirds camera, it can be bought with a 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens (factoring in sensor size, covers the same angle of view as a 34mm lens on a 35mm camera). It comes with a matching optical finder so you don't have to hold the camera at arm's length to see the image on the 3-inch LCD (which is your only other viewing choice--no EVF). Hopefully a 28mm equivalent lens is in the works.

There should be a hands-on report coming later today. In the meantime, here's the basic info and the full specs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And so the revolution began...

I shot this 30 years ago in New York City. I've been thinking about this shot lately, with the situation currently going on in Iran...


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Random NYC Street Shot #42


Random NYC Street Shot #41